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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Reinhard 15 Jun 20 - 06:43 PM
Reinhard 15 Jun 20 - 07:05 PM
Mrrzy 15 Jun 20 - 08:17 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Jun 20 - 08:41 PM
BobL 16 Jun 20 - 02:43 AM
Doug Chadwick 16 Jun 20 - 05:48 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Jun 20 - 06:03 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Jun 20 - 06:15 AM
Nigel Parsons 16 Jun 20 - 06:19 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Jun 20 - 06:24 AM
Nigel Parsons 16 Jun 20 - 06:29 AM
Doug Chadwick 16 Jun 20 - 06:31 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Jun 20 - 06:41 AM
Nigel Parsons 16 Jun 20 - 06:53 AM
Mrrzy 16 Jun 20 - 12:23 PM
PHJim 18 Jun 20 - 10:41 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Jun 20 - 12:17 PM
Donuel 18 Jun 20 - 12:59 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Jun 20 - 01:18 PM
leeneia 19 Jun 20 - 12:53 AM
FreddyHeadey 19 Jun 20 - 07:56 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Jun 20 - 08:19 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Jun 20 - 08:21 AM
PHJim 19 Jun 20 - 08:23 AM
Mrrzy 19 Jun 20 - 09:07 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Jun 20 - 12:03 PM
leeneia 19 Jun 20 - 01:09 PM
Doug Chadwick 19 Jun 20 - 02:52 PM
Lighter 19 Jun 20 - 03:49 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Jun 20 - 03:53 PM
Doug Chadwick 19 Jun 20 - 04:18 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Jun 20 - 05:40 PM
Mrrzy 21 Jun 20 - 12:35 PM
Mrrzy 21 Jun 20 - 01:12 PM
BobL 22 Jun 20 - 02:58 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Jun 20 - 09:59 AM
Charmion 22 Jun 20 - 10:18 AM
Mrrzy 22 Jun 20 - 10:29 PM
BobL 23 Jun 20 - 02:32 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Jun 20 - 04:34 AM
Mrrzy 23 Jun 20 - 09:07 AM
leeneia 24 Jun 20 - 12:59 PM
leeneia 24 Jun 20 - 01:02 PM
Mrrzy 24 Jun 20 - 04:12 PM
Lighter 24 Jun 20 - 04:21 PM
Donuel 24 Jun 20 - 04:28 PM
leeneia 24 Jun 20 - 06:01 PM
Mrrzy 26 Jun 20 - 12:47 PM
Nigel Parsons 26 Jun 20 - 04:40 PM
Mrrzy 26 Jun 20 - 06:51 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Reinhard
Date: 15 Jun 20 - 06:43 PM

well, in the preview of my post the long s was shown correctly. But in my post it's been replaced with question marks. Does anybody know if there's a HTML entity code for the long s?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Reinhard
Date: 15 Jun 20 - 07:05 PM

Next try with that quote:

They which take ſhippe, & inſtead of paying their fare, do the duties of Mariners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jun 20 - 08:17 PM

But could and couldn't do *not* mean the same thing. What politician tried to argue that they did?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jun 20 - 08:41 PM

This is the trouble with grammar police who desperately try to cling to some past meaning that probably never existed anyway. Could care less and couldn't care less have nothing much to do with the individual words. You simply have to take the constructions as a whole. I won't dwell. The other thing is that both expressions are wot millions of people say. When millions of people say something, and have been doing so for a long time, then that something is standard English. Either live with it or make yourself miserable. Your choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 02:43 AM

Reinhard - same with Y and Þ (thorn), although that substitution can at least claim to be well established, dating back to Caxton's time.
Unforgivable though is printed cod Olde Englishe (Engli?he?) with a capital F - as in YE OLDE CURIOFITY FHOPPE...

You know you're getting into historic lettering when you read Psalm 8 with its reference to "sucking babes" and don't notice anything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 05:48 AM

When millions of people say something, and have been doing so for a long time, then that something is standard English. Either live with it or make yourself miserable. Your choice.

So Steve, by that reasoning, will you accept 'prior to' and 'albeit' or are they still making you miserable?

Unlike physics, which is governed by laws, grammar is governed by rules. Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of fools. All that is required for good communication is that it is clear and unambiguous.

"I could care less" is the exact opposite of what is intended and is intrinsically wrong;

"British schoolgirls evacuated in their pyjamas ....", given above, is a good example of ambiguity. It seems to be a feature of headline writing;

Using 'who' instead of 'whom' is grammatically incorrect but the meaning would, in most cases, be perfectly clear

'Hopefully', for me, is a perfectly good alternative to 'it is hoped'.

Good communication should also be concise. Waffle and buzzwords suggests that the user doesn't understand the subject; deliberate obfuscation is the tool of the politician. Allowance should be made, however, for the poetry of the language. There is more than one way to skin a donkey and there are more ways to express ideas than being limited to a restricted set of approved words. Variety is the spice of life.

Having said all that, the thread title is "Language Pet Peeves" - it's all about the words and expressions that you can't live with, the one's that make you miserable.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 06:03 AM

I agree with most of that, but the point about "albeit" (when you think about it, and look at the word closely, the stupidest word in the language) and "prior to" is that they are pretentious. Not only that, they both have perfectly plain and clear alternatives that may be used in every case, namely "though" (or "although" if you like) and "before" respectively. Whenever I see either of these horrors in print I go straight into prize cock red alert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 06:15 AM

As for "I could care less," if you preface that with "it isn't possible that...." it makes perfect sense. I see the expression as an economical way of saying just that, though, arguably, it would be linguistically more efficient, and less likely to have the recipient doing some puzzled mental processing, just to say "I couldn't care less." But here's the rub: both variants are informal and both are widely used, so we just have to suck it up. In formal writing you wouldn't use either unless you were quoting dialogue. We sometimes have to let the lingo take wings and fly, though I'll always argue against pretentious words when there are perfectly good plain alternatives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 06:19 AM

Doug:
Having said all that, the thread title is "Language Pet Peeves" - it's all about the words and expressions that you can't live with, the one's that make you miserable.

One of my pet peeves, which I share with many, is the misuse of apostrophes ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 06:24 AM

The thing on iPads that decides that it knows better than you do what you want to type often either inserts or omits apostrophes inappropriately, Nigel. Whether I spot such absurdities in my posts before sending them depends on whether or not I'm wearing my reading specs, which I oft misplace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 06:29 AM

Merriam-Webster on 'alright' Here
All right, everyone: listen up.
If you were listening when your English teacher said that, you probably learned that all right is the only way to write the word that is also sometimes spelled alright. Pete Townshend preferred the tighter version when he wrote the lyrics to The Who's famous song, The Kids are Alright, and James Joyce thought alright was better (in one instance out of 38) for Ulysses too.


Interesting that when they are trying to be correct they describe 'all right' as a word, rather than a phrase. Probably another example of variant American usage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 06:31 AM

I don't see 'although' and 'albeit' as being direct equivalents. Depending on context, I feel that there are subtle differences. 'Although' acknowledges that there is an alternative or condition; 'albeit' is more of a reluctant acceptance of the same.

Even if the two words are directly equivalent, why is one better than the other. I do not accept that 'albeit' is pompous. Reverse snobbery is no justification.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 06:41 AM

I don't see snobbery of any kind in preferring plainer alternatives. Albeit stretches out to "athough be it," which we then have to rejig as "although it be," which isn't English at all. Whilst I acknowledge its antiquity (and regret that it didn't die out in Victorian times, as it threatened to), I can't excuse it on those grounds from being plain daft. They used to hang little boys for stealing sheep in those days too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 06:53 AM

"They gone done in Caesar, albeit he was getting to big for his boots".

Nah, doesn't have the same ring to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 12:23 PM

They used to hang sheep, too.

I like (unpeeve, if you will), that people are hanged while pictures are hung.

And I don't mean During the time that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: PHJim
Date: 18 Jun 20 - 10:41 AM

Steve,
If we preface anything with "it isn't possible that...." it could also care less.will change the meaning to the opposite, but we can't just assume that everything we say is understood to be prefaced by "it isn't possible that..." or what we say would have no meaning.

You know that literally, "could care less" tells us nothing about how much you care except that you do care. A person who cares deeply about something could care a bit or a lot less, but a person who cares just a little bit could also care less.
Someone who doesn't care at all, couldn't care less.

Many folks say, "I haven't got no bananas" when they mean, "I haven't got any bananas." It's in common usage and I know what they mean, but it still makes me cringe.
Many also say, "Give your report to John or I when it's finished," when they mean, "Give your report to John or me when it's finished."
I know what they mean, but it still doesn't sound right.

I guess what I'm saying is that although I know I'll never be able to change the way people misuse the language, it can still be a "BS:Language Pet Peeve"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 20 - 12:17 PM

Just take the expression as a single entity and don't over-analyse by breaking it into its individual words. We know that "well I'll go to the foot of our stair" hasn't got anything to do with stairs, or going anywhere at all. Just think of it as one big word that expresses utter gobsmackedness. I could care less, when you hear someone saying it, doesn't convey that they care quite a lot but that their caring might conceivably drop off, not to me anyway. I don't like it but there it is. Honestly, you really can't fight this stuff. If lots of people say it over a long period of time, then it's standard English. It's fine to say that you don't like it but there's not much point. I mention my hatred of albeit, prior to and on a daily basis only in these threads. They're all standard English and I use them excessively in knowing company with as much sarcasm as a I can muster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Jun 20 - 12:59 PM

Caring less is less caring than carelessly ignoring the whole damn thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 20 - 01:18 PM

Anyway, people will continue to use very dodgy words irregardless of what we literate types might think... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 12:53 AM

It's easy to make fun of the language of people without much education. Yes, there are high-school dropouts who haven't thought through "I could care less." or "between you and I." Criticism of them is boring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 07:56 AM

”dont overanalyze" you say,
"you really can't fight this stuff."

Yes, but

it really slows down my reading. I don't know how to skate over it.
On Facebook I'm getting so used to having to decide between there\their\they're ; your\you're ; to\too\two that when I read a perfectly well written piece I even find myself stopping to check - did they really mean 'their' or is there a different meaning to the sentence if they meant 'there' ?

I never(not for the last fifty years) used to think about it but now I even find myself writing a 'their', then stopping to check that I really did mean 'their'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 08:19 AM

Well, you could always stop reading Facebook... ;-)

I guess some people post quickly and don't review enough before posting. That never really bothers me. Unless the poster has set out to deliberately obfuscate, by trying to be too clever and tortuous with his words, (we have one egregious culprit here), the meaning is nearly always easy enough to glean. What peeves me is when mean-spirited people try to make hay over others' deficiencies (such as typos, spelling mistakes or punctuation errors). Invariably, the attacker makes plenty of errors themselves, and that's when I feel that it's legit to go to town on him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 08:21 AM

And I made two errors in that post. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: PHJim
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 08:23 AM

My sister bought me a lovely coffee mug with "Grammar Police - Don't make me use my red pencil!"
She says, "Jim, You'll have to decide between correcting grammar and having friends."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 09:07 AM

Eschew obfuscation!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 12:03 PM

I wasn't referring to you, but you might wish to consider whether there's anything wrong with saying things in clear, simple English.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 01:09 PM

Yesterday I listened to a YouTube on 10 Things Narcissicists Do. One thing was correct others' grammar and usage. (This would be in personal settings such as conversation or social media.)

However, I think that when a person writes a book, he ought to maintain a higher standard. For example, know the difference between "definite" and "definitive." Also, give enough thought so that he isn't parroting weasel words.
==================
I find that I, too, have to be care about their, there, and they're. For some reason, 'their' is the one that wants to come out first, and that's odd, because 'there' must be more common.

And why do we so often use 'it's'
where 'its' should be
when 'it's', with its apostrophe,
is harder to type?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 02:52 PM

.... you might wish to consider whether there's anything wrong with saying things in clear, simple English.

I am not trying to be funny, Steve, but I had to look up "egregious" in a dictionary.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 03:49 PM

> in clear, simple English.

Somewhere online (should be "on line," obviously), a filmgoer lamented that she couldn't fully enjoy the recent remake of "Emma" because it was too hard to "understand the old English dialogue."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 03:53 PM

I tend to use it in the sense of outstandingly bad, Doug. I hope your dictionary agrees!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 04:18 PM

Yes, that's it. You learn something every day!

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jun 20 - 05:40 PM

I think I've used it a number of times before on Mudcat, Doug. I've known that word for many years. I hope that I'm generally seen as trying to express myself clearly. I don't mind being pulled up if my verbiage looks a bit too fancy...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Jun 20 - 12:35 PM

Using definitions instead of the word so defined.

Using initials as in The w-word when avoiding saying Walk in front of your dog is fine, but doing that with any human over the age of spelling is infantilizing, condescending, and patronizing/ paternalistic. Either use the word or don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Jun 20 - 01:12 PM

Also bad rap when what is meant is bad rep[utation].


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 22 Jun 20 - 02:58 AM

"Must of" for "must have". Spoken as "must've" I can accept, but written?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jun 20 - 09:59 AM

I must've typed that lots of times here. Are you now telling me that I shouldn't've done it? You haven't picked me up on it so I assume you can't've noticed... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jun 20 - 10:18 AM

Egregious -- ex gregis, or out of the flock. Latin. Now a secret code for Catholics, linguists and over-educated Olde Phartes.

Mrrzy, "bad rap" is not necessarily a corruption because it is also a colloquial phrase from the mid-60s, when the word "rap" acquired a whole host of odd extra meanings. (Remember :rap session"?) Among other things, it meant an accusation, so a criminal record became a "rap sheet". Thus, one might say that the "Access Hollywood" tape was a bad rap against Donald Trump, but unfortunately not bad enough.

But that usage of "rap" seems to exist now only in the phrase "rap sheet", so you're probably right that most people using it nowadays are confusing it with "bad rep".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Jun 20 - 10:29 PM

Fascinating. Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothing new to say... [And now it's a music thread.]


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 23 Jun 20 - 02:32 AM

Are you now telling me that I shouldn't've done it? No Steve, just being imprecise as usual.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Jun 20 - 04:34 AM

I seem to remember a conversation on the Quora website about these multiple contractions. Someone posting an innocent question about them received a bollocking for putting an apostrophe in the wrong place.... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Jun 20 - 09:07 AM

I shouldn'ta oughta posted that?

I might could say something about living in Dixie?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 24 Jun 20 - 12:59 PM

I just watched a YouTube video about language things narcissicists do. Now, I'm not sure 'narcissists' is the word they want, but whatever term you wish to employ for a verbo-jerk, the list is helpful:

Corrects others' grammar (includes apostrophes, I'm sure.)

Borrows technical jargon, often incorrectly

Directs conversation to a topic known to himself and no one else present

Makes it seem that others lose all credibility because of small mistakes.

Pretends to understand everything.

Claims to be logical without actually using logic.

Commits to ideas and will not change despite evidence.
==========
There were other points, but they didn't strike home with me the way some of those above have.

Unless in a parental or classroom situation, a normal person does not correct another's usage or apostrophes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 24 Jun 20 - 01:02 PM

I wonder what the critics would make of these apostrophes from lyrics by Peter Berryman:

'cause the girl you been cheatin' with's ridin' in the guy I been cheatin' with's truck.

I love this line, myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Jun 20 - 04:12 PM

Great line! Love English sometimes.

I like being corrected. How else can I learn?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Jun 20 - 04:21 PM

Let's get serious, people.    (Note necessary comma.)

From a current, evidently expensive, American TV commercial. And yes, I   listened carefully several times:

"Including a full-size leave-in elixir which nine out of ten women said their hair appeared thicker and fuller in just one week!"

"Elixir" (hair goo) isn't the only problem here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Jun 20 - 04:28 PM

I shouldn'ta oughta've told'ya'll but iffin I've said it once...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 24 Jun 20 - 06:01 PM

Lighter, I agree that advertisement is ignorant.
===========
I just saw a video that reminded me of two peeves:

crime spree: a spree is fun. Calling a series of crimes a spree minimizes the suffering of the victims, for whom it was not fun at all.

triggerman: Yuck. Instead of saying "Jones was the triggerman," say "Jones murdered Smith." Make the killer face what he did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Jun 20 - 12:47 PM

Charlottesville now has a free bike rental program.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 26 Jun 20 - 04:40 PM

Charlottesville now has a free bike rental program.
Well, you wouldn't want to keep it in a cage. ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Jun 20 - 06:51 PM

Hah!

This should be sad but it's tragic: 16-year-old TikTok star dead at 16.


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